The Ministry of Post and Telecommunications will soon permit individuals to buy five boxes of Molnupiravir 200mg capsules with the brand name Molnatris at a time, while clinics may purchase up to 50 boxes of the drug. Currently, an individual can order just one or two boxes of Molnatris.

The ministry had intended to introduce the new allowances on February 28. However, a flight carrying the latest shipment had been delayed. This meant that the previous limits remained in effect.

Individuals who wish to purchase Molnatris need to present their national ID card, while anyone ordering for a hospital, clinic or pharmacy must show their business licence. Payment will be made through ABA Bank.

The ministry added that seven days must pass before a re-order will be accepted.

Ministry of Health technical director-general Hok Kim Cheng said the ministry had arranged for distribution through the telecoms ministry to prevent price-gouging by businesses.

“This mechanism is in place to ensure the medicine is accessible for all,” he said.

According to the telecoms ministry, the drug will be distributed at $55 per course, and they cannot be resold by hospitals of pharmacies for more than $65.

The medication is used to treat patients aged 18 years or older who display mild to moderate Covid-19 symptoms. The pills are taken whole

“Covid-19 patients should swallow four pills whole twice a day [every 12 hours for five days],” the ministry said.

Prime Minister Hun Sen earlier called for medicine vendors to act responsibly and avoid increasing prices for the drugs. As demand soared, he urged retailers to ensure adequate supplies are available.

Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said a team of agents from the ministry had searched for illegal drugs at pharmacies in some parts of the capital including Prampi Makara district’s Mittapheap commune, Daun Penh district’s Phsar Thmey III commune, and Sen Sok district’s Phnom Penh Thmei commune.

“The team advised pharmacists not to increase the medicine’s price,” she said.